Wednesday, September 10, 2008


STANDARD DATA: Seats: 2; Gross weight: 4,140 lbs.; Empty weight: 1,580 lbs.; Fuel capacity: 263 gals.; Engine: 2,950 lb. GE CJ610 fanjet.
PERFORMANCE: Top speed: 926 mph; Cruise speed: 620 mph; Initial climb rate: 30,000 fpm; Ceiling: 45,000 ft.; Range: 1,840 nm; Takeoff distance, 50 ft.: 600 ft.; Landing distance, 50 ft.: 1,500 ft.

One of the most significant developments in homebuilt aircraft, the BD-10 Jet has brought the fantasy almost within reach for most pilots: streaking around the sky in your own pocket-sized jet at Mach speeds and being the fastest kid on the block. The aircraft is “almost within reach” because along with being the hottest kit on wings it also carries the highest price tag (approximately $250,000 less engine, avionics, and finishing products). As fast as this bird is, it still remains very docile at slow speeds and is simple enough for most competent prop pilots to fly. Construction of the BD-10 is made largely of state-of-the-art honeycomb sandwich aluminum and is designed with all the seriousness of today’s frontline fighter aircraft. The aircraft is complex in structure but not beyond the means of competent builders exhibiting the proper building skills. Build time is around 6,000 hours, and it does take a large amount of change, but in the grand scheme it is a lot less expensive to build and operate than most military surplus jets available to the serious GA pilot.

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